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tv   News  Al Jazeera  January 1, 2014 11:00am-11:31am EST

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welcome to al jazeera america, i'm del walters. these are the stories we are following for you. the first day of coverage under the affordable care act starts with an exemption. and legal recreational marijuana sales beginning in colorado. >> i think they are trying. they are all aware that we are here. we were put on vacation list. >> american missionaries caught up in the crisis in south sudan. they want to come home, but fear for the orphans they may have to leave behind. ♪
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we begin with breaking news. the palestinian ambassador to the czech republic has died after an explosion at his home. the blast happening when he was moving an office safe. he was taken to the hospital and later died from his injuries. the czech police saying there is no evidence that the explosion was any type of attack. we'll continue to follow the story and bring you more details as they become available. also the president's new health care law facing a last-minute legal problem from the women he named to the supreme court. justice sodamyor. the white house has until friday to respond. but that change won't stop
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coverage from kicks in for the millions that signed up. obamacare officially making its long-awaited debut. >> reporter: it's been a scene repeated across the country, social service agencies working the phones, and the web trying to get people signed up for health insurance. >> well, i was suspecting, you know, expecting to qualify for some help. >> reporter: they are reaching out to people like jose reyes, he hasn't had health insurance for 15 years. >> we will incur around $69,000 this year. >> reporter: that's too much to qualify for government subsidies. so he found out insurance will cost him $800 a month. >> sometimes i can afford it, but what happens if i don't have it?
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this >> reporter: his is a story that has been repeated across the country, coupled with the website that didn't work, the president's health care plan is not going as planned. but he tried to point out the positive. >> i now have a couple million people maybe more who are going to have health care on january 1st, and that is a big deal. >> reporter: but that's far from where the administration said it should be by now. >> i think success looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of march 2014. >> reporter: health economists say the low number could be a problem, who is signing up could be another. >> if all of a sud inthere is only a million and the disproportion at it are sick and older, then it will cause all kinds of problems with respect to the balance, and in future years the insurance companies are going to be forced to raise
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premiums. >> reporter: premiums that are already too high for folks like reyes. he left without signing up for health insurance, making the choice to pay 1% of his income as a fine. colorado's new recreational marijuana law going into effect today. anyone over the age of 21 can smoke and buy pot at over the counter licensed stores. buying, selling, and smoking pot is still illegal under federal law so you can't leave the state with it. paul are people lining up for business? >> reporter: that's right. and a very happy new year here
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for these folks. sales began at 8:00 am local time. over here are some of the buying rooms. and every time people come out with their bag, people are cheering. it's a really festive atmosphere here. something people here and others have been waiting for a long time. >> we had a sound bite that was playing in the background, we apologize for that. paul with respect to this particular law, what effect will it have statewide? >> reporter: state wide anyone over 21 that is a colorado resident can purchase up to an ounce at a time, if you are out
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of state you can purchase up to a quarter ounce. the effect here is marijuana is legal for people over 21 colorado, people can come here to buy it, but they need to consume it here. and every state in the country will be watching the regulatory issue as well as the money. some estimates putting the sales between 400 million and 600 million this year alone. that's a lot of tax revenue. there are about 100,000 licensed medical marijuana users in the state of colorado but another half million are expected to start using recreationally. of course it has been a long legislative fight to get here. let's take a listen to the press conference held this morning. >> we promised that there would
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be -- if we were to legalize marijuana, that there would be a better use of law enforcement. and arrests have dropped dramatically since this measure has passed in colorado, so we think that's a wonderful thing. there are thousands of people that are no longer plagued by drug convictions for possessioning a substance that is less dangerous than alcohol. >> reporter: so there is one of the people who made marijuana legal here in the state. the first person to purchase marijuana today was an iraq war vet. he bought some marijuana infused truffles as well as marijuana to smoke to help ease his ptsd. >> thank you.
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many say new york city is a place where the haves have everything, and the less fortunate are forced to struggle on their own. >> reporter: we saw so many people braving the cold in time square here to ring in the new year, but just imagine you can't have a place to warm up after the ball dropped. that's a reality for tens of thousands of people living in new york city alone. in this cold overnight, many new york city shelters are working overtime, including one shelter just steps away from time square here that helps young people find a warm bed and get off of the cold streets. and for many of these kids their wish for the new year is for a new hope for a new life. >> if you really knew me, then you would know that i'm a daddy's girl. >> reporter: she loved her
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father, he died when she was 16 years old, and she took it so hard she had to leave her home in the bronx. >> i would be on the streets from time to time. in the subway, sleeping in restaurants. and i would wonder where i would sleep after i got out of school. >> reporter: she found a shelter for homeless youths between 18 and 21. >> i can go to work and come home to a bed, to a shower, to food, so i was really excited that i could actually calm down and think about what is my next step in life. >> reporter: she hopes that next step comes in the new year. >> to save enough money so i can move on. >> reporter: hector shares the same wish, he came to the covenant house when he did not have a place to sleep either. >> i applied for housing. that didn't work, so i was like you know what, maybe if i can go
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to a shelter, maybe they can help me. >> reporter: these are just two kids of thousands who need help. in fact the need is so great especially here in new york city that the covenant house alone has to turn away 300 young people a month. the reason? they simply don't have enough resources. >> that's a disgrace. in the city there are at least 3800 youth sleeping on the streets every night. about 25% of the youth on the street are forced to engage in survival sex to get a place to sleep, to get food. >> reporter: that's why their wish is for the new mayor to create change. some 50,000 homeless people throughout the nation's biggest
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city. for now this is good enough for these two. >> i have a place to sleep somewhere to rest my head and dream. >> reporter: dreaming a place like this one to help close the book on homelessness. >> my father told me that even you can have the newest cars. >> reporter: the covenant house is in 21 cities nationwide as well as south america and canada, and many shelters say they struggle with a decreasing budget and increasing need. advocates here say there needs to be more education, employment, and affordable housing, in order to truly tackle this problem. people in north dakota back home after that fiery train crash. two freight trains slamming into each other on monday, causing numerous explosions. one of the trains was loaded with crude oil which burned for
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hours. hundreds of residents were forced to evacuate. two black boxes were destroyed and that could complicate the investigation. two al jazeera producers are now being held in a prison outside of cairo, where a number of high profile political prisoners are being kept. al jazeera is demanding that its journalists be released immediately. russian president visited some of the victims of this year's suicide bombings. >> reporter: president putin's visit came after he vowed to quote annihilate terrorists in his new year's eve address.
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since the bombing, the city is still under lockdown with police and paramilitary troops sent into the city. the focus is how security would be beefed up ahead of the games in sochi. the bombings have demonstrated how vulnerable public transport is ahead of the games >> translator: the crimes committed here do not need further comment, whatever motivated the criminal's actions, there is no justification for committing crimes against civilians, especially women and children. >> reporter: this is a transport hub for an area of southern russia that includes the northern caucuses, a region that experiences regular attacks. president putin has placed a huge amount of importance on the games in sochi, and the focus will be to keep the violence
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away from such an international platform. peace talks between the government and rebels are now underway in ethiopia. me meanwhile government soldiers are trying to take back the city of bor. nebraska an natives have to decide whether to stay or go and leave their orphan children behind. >> i think they are trying. they are all aware that we're here. we were put on an evacuation list. >> more than a thousand south sudanese have died since the
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fighting started. the north korean leader ringing in the new year saying north korea is stronger, and having kind words south korea, but not for the us. >> reporter: north korea's leader says they are all the more stronger after the removal of this man. >> our party took firm measures to get rid of the faction of sewage that permeated from within. >> reporter: this is only the second time, kim has given a new year address to his people. the first time, last year, prompted speculation about a new style of leadership. but this purge seems distinctly
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old style. >> the whole process of purge and execution of someone such -- such person of importance was just to demonstrate that kim jong un is now in control of the country. er >> reporter: he was seen as an architect of north korea's policies, but kim seen here inspecting his country's first ski resort, wants to continue economic reform, and he knows he needs peace and better relations to achieve it, even appearing to strike a conciliatory tone. >> translator: an atmosphere to improve relations between the north and south should be prepared. slanderous attacks shouldn't be carried out anymore. >> reporter: but analysts are still divided over whether the
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purge proves kim has secured his grip on power two years after becoming leader or is evidence of a wider struggle, for north korea's neighbors, the optimism is not shared. south korea is worried the new year could see him provoking some kind of confrontation in a bid to create unity in the north korean leadership, and for china, the unpredictability of its old ally poses one of the big unknowns for 2014. 100 years ago, the first paying passenger boarded a plane and took a trip. and the big turn around in america's auto industry, the big car makers have gone from near bankruptcy to exporting millions of cars around the world.
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>> so join the conversation and make it your own. >> the stream. weeknights 7:30 et / 4:30 pt on al jazeera america and join the conversation online @ajamstream. new lights use low wattage led rights, neither harmful for the trees nor dangerous for the kids that may touch them. >> many play-off spots in the n.f.l. are still to be decided. mark morgan is here to explain it all. >> hey, a lot of anxiety in dallas, wondering what the dallas cowboys would do. tony romeo underwent back surgery. kyle ortman will start quarterback in the eagles game. sher een williams of the fort worth star telegram weighs in. >> that lees this game in the hands of kyle orten, he made 69 starts. he's 35 and 34. but has not thrown a pass as a starter and only thrown 15 passes over the last two years. it takes the pressure off the
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cowboys. no doubt about that. they can go in, play loose and (vo) al jazeera america we understand that every news story begins and ends with people. >> the efforts are focused on rescuing stranded residents. (vo) we pursue that story beyond the headline, past the spokesperson, to the streets. >> thousands of riot police deployed across the capitol. (vo) we put all of our global resources behind every story. >> it is a scene of utter devastation. (vo) and follow it no matter where it leads, all the way to you. al jazeera america. take a new look at news. 100 years ago today the
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first commercial flightaking place, and one pilot in florida marking that occasion by recreating the historic no frills flight. where is the flight going today, julia? >> reporter: well this historic flight dell left from right here in st. petersburg, across the bay to tampa. keep in mind 100 years ago the options for travelers were very limited so that flight was monumental. the passengers had an option to actually take a flight. the aircraft used today by the pilot was not the exact replica of the flight used behind me is replica of what had been used in 1914. but the pilot was able to get
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up out of the water. we saw him loop the area once, and then we saw him disappear into the horizon. so a very monumental day, an historic day, and one that supporters here want everybody to know that st. petersburg is actually where the first commercial airline flight started and set the aviation industry in motion. >> reporter: looking at the place behind you, it is easy to understand why the flight took place there instead of here in new york where it is in the teens. >> that's a good observation, dell, because this is ament completely open air type of flight. no frills, no every head compartments. only two people would fit, the pilot and one passenger.
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and it was the mayor of st. petersburg who was the first passenger, he won that flight in a ravel. normal passengers once the service was up and running, paid $5 for a one-way trip. and it look about 23 minutes. >> thank you julia. well, 2013 was also the year that saw the auto industry making a roaring come back. four years ago ford was in trouble, and chrysler and gm facing bankruptcy, now the big three have rebounded. >> reporter: the big three, detroit-based auto makers are on a. the three are on a record pace to close 2013 exporting more than 2 million cars and trucks around the world.
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>> there are still many more in parts than exports, but the trajectory is that exports will continue to grow. >> reporter: the turn around came after the three were in financial crisis. ford went through a mayor restructuring, and gm and chrysler both received government bailouts. u.s. cars once scorned for poor quality, are now in demand, totaling $65 billion in export sales in 2012. why? >> auto makers have adopted a global strategy, where instead of building specific vehicles for specific markets, they build one vehicle that is appealing across the world. >> reporter: the two top export markets are canada and mexico. demand is also growing in places like chai and the middle east. lower wages and energy cost are making the u.s. fertal ground
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for auto manufacturing. >> reporter: you'll probably see the japanese and germans who will look to build cars here and export them, because in this terms of wages and compensation the u.s. has become much more competitive. >> reporter: 2 million exports is a small piece of the total pie, but the big three auto makers are rolling into the new year with a tighter grip on the global market. bisi onile-ere, al jazeera, detroit. it is not exactly where they planned on spending new years day, but the 74 people on board the ship stuck in the antarctic seem to be making the most of it.
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next only on al jazeera america
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welcome back to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. here are your headlines on this new year's day. beginning today more than 2
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million people have insurance benefits under the affordable care act. coverage effects americans who signed up for policies before december 24th. the obama administration hoping that more than a million people would have been covered by now. and colorado selling its first over the counter purchase of pot this morning. marijuana remains illegal under federal law, however. and as the situation in south sudan worsens, talks now underway in ethiopia between rebels and the government, while the un is sending in close to 14,000 security forces trying to protect those fleeing the violence. passengers on board the russian ship stranded in antarctica will have rescued soon. the group leaving the ship trying to create a launching pad and landing pad just in case a
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helicopter needs to land. they even gathered together to sing auld lang syne. ♪ happy new year to you. our worth pattern is not changing all that much. the cold ware in the upper midwest, and we're watching a good swath of snow moving into areas of nebraska, illinois, and the great lakes. rain will continue in the gulf coast, we're talking a good soaking rain. parts of georgia still watching out for very localized flooding, watch out for that, especially in low-lying areas, because this will really continue to add up.
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after the rain moves out the temperatures will be dropping. the moisture is then lifting northward. we're watching a developing storm system that will really start to take shape late into the day wednesday and thursday. that's when we'll have snow coming in in new jersey and new york city even. and it will be a very fine line as to when this precipitation will change over from rain to snow. so we're watching it very closely as a lot of areas could see significant snow falling late tonight and early thursday and also on friday. behind it, we will see dryer conditions, but definitely filling that much closer air mass. we have winter storm watches for the areas shaded in blue, but we could see that being updated to warnings in this the next 24 hours. the cold air in place we'll see those temperatures dropping like
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a rock over the next 24 hours. >> thank you very much. thank you for watching al jazeera america. i'm del walters in new york. "inside story" is next. ♪ >> hello, i'm ray suarez. 2013 will be remembered as a year of partisan dysfunction in wash despite the threat of default and government shutdown the economy has been showing signs of life. unemployment dropped to its lowest level since president obama took off